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Friday, January 26, 2007

Genetically Modified Dubaians

Today's Gulf News carries an astonishingly misleading article. The headline says "40% of food is genetically modified". But if you bother to read it, you will learn that the sample tested was of 35 items bought in the UAE, Oman and Qatar. That's a pretty tiny sample. When you get to the bit where they tell you what the 'contaminated' products are, you'll laugh. To save you the bother, here's the list: Munch King Nacho Cheese, Tostitos Tortilla Crispy Rounds, Funyuns Frito Lay Onion Rings, Quaker Yellow Corn meal, Doritos Nacho Cheesier, Fritos Corn Chips, Doritos Nacho Cheese. I wouldn't describe any of that as 'food'. Anybody who buys and eats stuff like that deserves to grow two heads.

I'm really disappointed by this article. It's based on a report from Greenpeace. I don't know if it was Greenpeace people who suggested their survey proved '40% la la la' or what. But I am suspicious of GM food and I think it is something we should be wary of. Sadly, this report by GN is either trying to be sensationalist by exaggerating any claims made, or the reporter just didn't get it. Or the Greenpeace report itself presented the data in those terms. Hmmm.

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7 Comments:

Blogger CG said...

I had to say that at first glance I was mortified! I was expecting it to say that Tomatoes found in Choithrams, and cucumbers in Spinneys etc etc....then I saw it was a stack of items that most of us would only eat if we had the severest attack of the munchies (I mean the real munchies)....ufffffffff so bloody dramatic.

7:50 pm  
Blogger nzm said...

Oh no, Quakers' Corn Meal - there goes the grits recipe!

8:06 am  
Blogger Brn said...

The reported didn't misunderstand, it was Greenpeace that was trying to give that impression. I wrote about that same article over at my place too, then saw a similar article in Emirates Today and an interview with the Greenpeace reps on City 7. Greenpeace wants the UAE to ban GM foods altogether but doesn't want to argue for it on the merits, it just wants to scare people with hysterical stories.

8:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal opinion is that more than 80% of the food we're eating is genetically messed with. First, none of the fruit or vegetables you're eating are grown naturally. The fields are sprayed with all sorts of stuff to improve their growth, and that's a fact. Then... all the products are filled with chemicals. You would be surprised to see what powerful acids are included in your soda.

8:07 pm  
Blogger Curlytop said...

Pah!! I come from a little corner of Africa that used to be really great and now is "really grate"... Dimbabwe - land of the candle.

We have had "modified" food there for years. We had bread that was made with maize meal as well as flour. We had beer come out of the brewery without a certain process done, so it feremented and rotted in the bottles. Upon opening, you quickly knew you had a bad one, as half of it had erupted out of the neck...

But seriously...

We have been playing with crop variants for years, where hybrids are developed to increase yield per hectare, increase resistance to rust and other parasites, as well as grow in more drought stricken areas with less water.

How does genetic modification differ? By hybreeding, isn't that what you are doing, albeit in a less "laboratory" kind of way. It still involves the genetic coding being altered to produce the variant.

10:32 am  
Blogger John said...

I've NEVER understood all the hysteria about genetically modified
foods in the first place. I(for one)believe this endeavor holds alot of promise for mankind and the
future of our planet.
Are you AWARE of the fact that crops can be enginered to resist pests naturally and therefore not require pesticide? I guess not!
Do you KNOW that tomatoes have been designed to tolerate the scorching tempatures of the deserts
of Arizona and still produce well?
Once again,I guess not!
What really scares you about genetic enginering on plants? Do you honestly belive we'll develope
a "Master Race" of zuccini to dominate the world? I suggest you get back on your medication,and then take serious steps towards getting an education.
Leave Paranoia to the trully insane....they're better at it!

9:45 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

John (whoever you are) - thanks for your almost enlightening and only slightly abusive post.

I know farmers have been 'genetically modifying' stuff for years by creating hybrids of various strains - but this has freuently been at the expense of flavour. I guess what concerns me most about GM is the Big Science / Industrial Farming aspect: by creating superstrains of various things, the Agro industry could well produce crops that will wipe out what we've known up to now (in the marketplace, I mean), and this will tend towards monopoly situations. We'll end up with homogenised, tasteless food that costs a fortune.

7:28 pm  

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